Multi-titled champion coach Jong Uichico said he could well relate to Star rookie coach Jason Webb, who has been getting the ire of Hotshots fans for what they deemed as poor coaching decision he’s making in the team’s losses this season.
Star is currently mired at the bottom of the standings with its anemic 1-4 record, its latest loss coming from Sunday’s 87-92 defeat to rival Barangay Ginebra.
Uichico said Webb’s predicament as a rookie coach is nothing new, having gone through the same adjustment period after serving as assistant coach of San Miguel Beer from 1992 to 1999 under then coach Norman Black and American coach Ron Jacobs, respectively.
“New coach, new system. You have to give these coaches naman some time. Siyempre he’s (Webb) trying to put in his system, and it cannot happen after just 1 conference,” Uichico told FOX Sports on Thursday.
Uichico managed to steer the Beermen to championships in the Commissioner’s Cup and Governor Cup during the 1999 season, his first year as SMB’s head coach.
But the soft-spoken TNT coach said back then, he was fortunate to have Jacobs at his side.
The American mentor, who previously served as the national team’s coach during the 1980s, served as San Miguel’s team consultant when he turned over the coaching reins to Uichico.
“I was lucky to have coach Ron there. And for these young coaches, you need to have a guide, a mentor, that helps a lot,” he said.
“Somebody that’s experienced and you believe in and follows the same mentality kasi malaking bagay yun, especially for coaches na starting kasi di naman puwede isalang agad eh unless you’ve been an assistant for so long,” he added.
Incidentally, Uichico will be facing Webb for the first time in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup this Sunday.
Though Star is a team in transition with import Denzel Bowles possibly leaving the team this weekend due to the death of a close relative, the 53-year-old TNT coach isn’t leaving anything to chance.
“We just heve to get back on defense the way we should and keep those shooters at bay,” Uichico said, referring to veteran gunners like PJ Simon, James Yap, Mark Barroca and Allein Maliksi. – By Richard Dy
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